19/03/2018 07:21 SAST | Updated 19/03/2018 07:21 SAST

Zuma Fights Back: Little-Known NGO Comes To His Aid

The South African Natives' Forum has filed an application for a permanent stay of prosecution.

Sumaya Hisham / Reuters
President Jacob Zuma leaves Tuynhuys, the office of the Presidency at Parliament in Cape Town, South Africa, February 7, 2018.

A little-known NGO has already applied for a permanent stay of prosecutions, as former president Jacob Zuma looks increasingly likely to fight the decision by the NPA to go ahead with the prosecution against him, Business Day reported.

The application by the South African Natives' Forum was already lodged weeks before National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) announced his decision to go ahead with the charges against Zuma.

According to Business Day, it is unclear what the organisation does or who is behind it. Its application reportedly leans heavily on a public protector's report from 2004 that found that the former NDPP Bulelani Ngcuka violated Zuma's rights.

If Abrahams ignores this, the Forum reportedly says, it will amount to "sanctioning a politically motivated criminal prosecution ... and send[ing] a chilling message that our constitutional dispensation is incapable of offering protection from abuse of the criminal process to achieve purposes other than those sanctioned for the criminal prosecution of crimes".

According to The Citizen, Abrahams said last week that an application had been filed by "an NGO", but did not provide details. He reportedly said: "An application for the permanent stay of the prosecution of Mr Zuma has recently been filed in the Western Cape High Court by an NGO. I, along with NPA, have been cited as respondents in this matter. I've instructed the state attorney to brief senior counsel to oppose this application."

The Forum's lawyer, Lucky Thekisho, told the Sunday Times that Zuma "has rights like any other person on this earth, the Constitution protects him as a person."

"We are people of social justice. Anyone one would have ensured that his or her constitutional rights are not violated," he reportedly said.

On Saturday, the Forum, which joined Twitter this month, tweeted:

Zuma's lawyer, Michael Hulley, said on Saturday that Zuma's legal team was considering taking Abrahams' decision on review. Tiso Blackstar reported Karyn Maughan tweeted: